India’s calendar of film premieres is usually packed. The country is one of the most prolific movie producers in the world, releasing nearly 2,000 films in 20 languages every year.
Thousands of people look forward to Fridays because that’s the weekly release date for films. And it’s not just massive Bollywood blockbusters showcasing choreographed dancers in glitzy clothes—the industry produces hundreds of small independent films in regional languages featuring up-and-coming actors and understated narratives. Over Diwali, Eid, and Christmas, the country’s 9,500 theaters traditionally attract massive audiences eager to watch the year’s most popular films.
But the Covid-19 pandemic has rolled the credits on a lot of filmmakers’ plans.